New York City Shows Widening Racial Employment Gap

New York City is home to a widening gap in unemployment between white and black workers in the city, according to new data found in an article in the New York Times- “Job Losses Show Wider Racial Gap in New York”. This article explores the numbered behind this phenomenon, showing that while generally blacks make up a higher percentage of unemployed workers, the recession has hit this demographic particularly hard, and at rates much greater than their white counterparts.

The data, released by the City Comptrollers Office, showed that there are 80,000 more blacks on unemployment currently, even though there are over 1.5 million more white residents within the city. This data was troubling considering that many of the noticeable job loses had come from areas where minorities are not as highly represented, like finance and other professional industries.

However, looking at other areas where cuts have been made, like customer service and retail positions, which have been hit hard as consumers curtail spending. These areas traditionally hire more African American employees. Other areas where African American employees make up a larger percent of the workforce- such as government jobs, have been feeling the hurt as well as local areas and state agencies trim budgets. One such agency, the Post Office, who has traditionally employed many African American workers, has been forced to lay more workers of as the recession depends.

The study continues on to show that whites in New York City have actually gained 130,000 jobs, while most minority groups have lost jobs concurrently. This race gap is troubling for a number of reasons, the most of which points to the idea that the recession has had a disparate impact on minority workers. While the recession has affect many industries, it is no excuse to single out minority workers for termination during cuts in employment.